The new Online Budget Guide shows where we are and asks where we should be

Today we released our long-awaited Online Budget Guide, a comprehensive resource exploring how Oklahoma’s state and local government collect and spend money to provide public services. While the Guide is packed full of facts and figures and works as both an introduction for citizens and students and a quick-reference for legislators, public managers, advocates, and reporters, it is about more than basic information. It’s also about some basic concerns we want to share with our fellow Oklahomans. Matt Guillory, OK Policy’s Executive Director, said:

At Oklahoma Policy Institute, we report and comment on budget and tax issues and on poverty and other problems we face as a state, but we’re also an advocate for change. We want to see more transparent and accountable government, a structure where we can rely on effective public services, and a way to improve fairness in who we tax and who our programs serve. The Online Budget Guide helps explain why these issues are so important.

Those who share our concern for Oklahoma’s future prosperity may especially want to see these guide pages:

If you go to, you’ll find the introductory page of the Guide. Use the menu on the left, or the table of contents, or the navigation pages at the bottom to find your way around. On the right-hand panel you’ll find a box where you can search the Guide, a place to leave comments (such as questions, corrections, or requests for further information), and an icon where you can print the current page through your web browser. If you just want to get a printed highlights version, you can download the “Talking Points” version.

So, if you want to know where Oklahoma stands, what we spend, what we’re accomplishing, who we tax, and how we build budgets, the Online Budget Guide is the right place for you. We won’t be where we are for long, however, and we expect the Guide to inform the discussion of where we’re headed.


Paul Shinn

Paul Shinn served as Budget and Tax Senior Policy Analyst with OK Policy from May 2019 until December 2021. Before joining OK Policy, Shinn held budget and finance positions for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, the Department of Human Services, the cities of Oklahoma City and Del City and several local governments in his native Oregon. He also taught political science and public administration at the University of Oklahoma, University of Central Oklahoma, and California State University Stanislaus. While with the Government Finance Officers Association, Paul worked on consulting and research projects for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and several state agencies and local governments. He also served as policy analyst for CAP Tulsa. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from University of Oklahoma and degrees from the University of Oregon and the University of Maryland College Park. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife Carmelita.

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